Office of the President

A Transformative Gift for a Transformative University

June 15, 2021

Dear Cal Poly Pomona Community, 

A series of landmark events exemplify our history as a university — from the gift of our campus from W.K. Kellogg in 1949 to our gaining full university status in 1972 to the accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff and nearly 178,000 alumni. These moments define our institution and, with each milestone, push our upward trajectory to greater heights.  

Today represents another such moment. 

This morning, philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott announced a $40 million gift to Cal Poly Pomona — the largest gift ever presented to our institution by an individual.

A gift of this magnitude represents a transformative moment for our institution. The donation comes at a time when we are actively investing in key areas that advance our Strategic Plan with special focus on student success and future paths; faculty and staff diversity, advancement and well-being; and institutional innovation and excellence. Through a newly created endowment fund, this historic contribution will provide permanent and ongoing support for future generations of Broncos.

Ms. Scott’s generosity will undoubtedly change many lives across Cal Poly Pomona, as well as within communities and families in our region and beyond. As the nation’s No. 1 polytechnic university in promoting social mobility, we see student success as far more than graduation rates. Through signature polytechnic experiences (PolyX), promotion of personal growth and development, career readiness and our commitment to preparing students for the future of work and human and civic engagement, Cal Poly Pomona launches students into a lifetime of success, regardless of what they study here or what they pursue after they leave our campus. This tremendous gift we announce today will power our unparalleled efforts now and into perpetuity. 

This moment belongs to each of you. It is well documented that Ms. Scott directs her philanthropy to organizations and institutions with demonstrated records of “moving the needle” in addressing our most pressing societal challenges, particularly in support of chronically underserved communities. Indeed, in her announcement this morning, Ms. Scott called higher education “a proven pathway to opportunity.” Each of you — students, faculty, staff, alumni, volunteers and supporters — helped build an institution that champions academic excellence, inclusion and diversity, opportunity for all and community engagement. Our people are our greatest legacy, and each of your unique contributions fashioned the mosaic that is Cal Poly Pomona. 

This incredible donation joins the list of thousands of others that are made each and every year. For generations, alumni and donors have trusted Cal Poly Pomona with their contributions to make an impact in the lives of our students and community.

On behalf of the entire Cal Poly Pomona community, I offer the deepest gratitude to Ms. Scott for her lifechanging gift, and I thank each of you for your part in making this day a reality. 


Soraya M. Coley, Ph.D.